Naval Miss­ing in ac­tion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

OT­TAWA — The plan to re­place the navy’s war­ship fleet is of­fi­cially sail­ing un­charted wa­ters, with an im­por­tant dead­line for the $60-bil­lion project hav­ing all but van­ished.

The gov­ern­ment says it con­tin­ues to work with in­dus­try to de­liver the war­ships the navy needs, and that a new dead­line will be set soon.

But de­fence ex­perts say the de­vel­op­ment is un­prece­dented, and raises fresh con­cerns about what is the largest planned mil­i­tary pur­chase in Cana­dian his­tory.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment launched a com­pe­ti­tion last fall in which a dozen of the world’s largest de­fence and ship­build­ing firms were asked to de­sign po­ten­tial re­place­ments for the navy’s frigates and de­stroy­ers.

The com­pa­nies were ini­tially given un­til the end of April to sub­mit their de­signs, af­ter which one would be se­lected for con­struc­tion by Irv­ing Ship­build­ing in Hal­i­fax.

But the com­pe­ti­tion is now in a state of limbo, with no es­tab­lished dead­line for de­signs to be sub­mit­ted since the gov­ern­ment ex­tended the com­pe­ti­tion for a sec­ond time in May.

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